ScienceDaily (Apr. 5, 2012) — Yale researchers show in detail how three genes within human embryonic stem cells regulate development, a finding that increases understanding of how to grow these cells for therapeutic purposes.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0405131427.htm


This process, described in the April 6 issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell, is different in humans than in mice, highlighting the importance of research using human embryonic stem cells.

"It is difficult to deduce from the mouse how these cells work in humans," said Natalia Ivanova, assistant professor of genetics in the Yale Stem Cell Center and senior author of the study. "Human networks organize themselves quite differently."

Embryonic stem cells form soon after conception and are special because each cell can become any type of cell in the body. Cells become increasingly specialized as development progresses, losing the ability to become other cell types -- except for the renewal of a few new stem cells. Scientists want to understand the processes of self-renewal and differentiation in order to treat a host of diseases characterized by damaged cells such as Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury, heart disease, and Alzheimer's.